Kyle Bruner is a senior at Wittenberg University. Unfortunately, it looks like his final year as a college football player will be spent on the sidelines after a recent knee injury. Bruner suffered a torn MCL and PCL during practice.
He mentioned, “It’s just a normal football injury – kind of freak thing. Sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield and it’s things that happen.”
Dr. Timothy Kremchek, the Medical Director for the Cincinnati Reds and Wittenberg University performed reconstruction of Bruner’s torn ligaments at Beacon Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Cincinnati, OH.
“I’ve been healthy playing football for a long time now and unfortunately bad timing,” reflected the college senior. “Dr. Kremchek is the team doctor for Wittenberg. He’s a Wittenberg graduate, does a lot for the Wittenberg guys and students. He’s a really good doctor, really great guy.”
As for the recovery process, Bruner will be facing 6-weeks on crutches and then several months of rigorous physical therapy. “After that Dr. Kremchek said I should be able to be moving around, working out, running, doing whatever I want to do, just obviously not going to be able to play football this year. Here in a few months I’ll be back on my feet and ready to go.”
Although Bruner has one more year of eligibility, he does not plan on taking advantage of that option.
“Where I’m at education wise having all my credits fulfilled, I think what is best for me is go ahead and move on and find my role on the team in a different way and cheer my guys on. It’s a tough pill to swallow but that is what I have to do.”
Bruner has seen a lot of injuries to his teammates and opponents over the years, and while he is sad to miss his senior season, he had some of the best times of his life on the turf. He recognizes that injuries are part of the game.
Bruner played for former Wittenberg All-American football player, and now GHS Coach Aaron Shaffer. Shaffer has inspired Bruner to consider coaching in the future.
“I know Coach Shaffer has gone through some injuries when he was in college,” Bruner recalled. “He told me what any coach would say; keep my head up, stay positive and just try to find your role on the team in a different way.”
“Although it’s the end of playing football for me, it doesn’t have to be the end of football for me,” continued Bruner. “I think now it just gives me the opportunity to step back and watch coach Fincham in different ways and learn from different coaches to help me be a better coach after I graduate.”
Bruner prioritized his education while at Wittenberg, and credits his mother Teresa and older sister Holly for their encouragement in his academic pursuits. One of Bruner’s main goals with a college degree is to coach football and baseball in the future.
“Education means a whole lot,” stated Bruner. “I learned from my sister. She’s the first person in our family to ever graduate from college. She just graduated with her Master’s Degree so she has really paved the way for me, pushed me and showed me what an education can get you.”
“My mom has been a really big influence and preached that my education is the most important thing in my life right now and I think just being able to make an impact on kid’s lives is important too.”
Life has not always been easy for Bruner, especially after the loss of his father at a young age. He gives a lot of credit to his family, coaches, teammates, and friends for helping him overcome adversity and stay positive, even through difficult circumstances.
“I think I’ve been really lucky although I have dealt with … I don’t want to say I’ve been dealt a crappy hand,” stated Bruner. “I know there are people out there that have had it a lot worse than I have.”
“I have a really strong family that really supports me, really loves me, cares for me and I also have a really good base of friends,” continued Bruner. “I think one of the most important things that you do in life is build relationships with people and just my relationship with my family and my friends, and just my outlook on things – sometimes bad things happen to great people and it’s all about how you want to tackle adversity and how you want to take things on.”
“I have always been the type of person that I didn’t want people to feel bad for me about things so I’ve always tried to put my nose down and just keep pushing through,” said a determined Bruner. “It’s just because how I was raised by my mom, my grandparents (Dave and Sue Barnette) and my dad (Dave Bruner) and I know that he would want me to keep pushing. I think there are greater things out there for people and there are always going to be hick-ups in people’s lives – it’s just how you tackle these things.”
Bruner intends to keep cheering on the Wittenberg football team and helping his teammates in any way he can. He is looking forward to graduating and starting to help coach and encourage other young men when they face and overcome adversity.
To read the original story, as published in the Early Bird Paper by Gaylen Blosser, please click here.